It's rare that anything in life lives up to the hype—even famous natural features. So it was that I approached the Grand Canyon in my teens, almost more out of obligation than any pure desire to see the thing. The summer crowds and buses clogging my path only seemed to confirm my dilettante view. But when I finally crawled up to the rim, I almost tumbled over backwards. Everything—the yawning abyss, the color explosion, the sheer size, man!—rebooted my brain.
No one gets underwhelmed by the Grand Canyon (whoever calls it a "just a hole in the ground" clearly hasn't been). It's arguably the greatest national park, and as of today it's 90 years old. Woodrow Wilson elevated it to national park status back in 1919, and since then, it's only grown in popularity and esteem. 4.5 million people visited last year.
To celebrate, we're collecting some of our greatest hits for the Big Ditch. Plan your trip to the canyon, or reminisce with the insanely beautiful aerial film linked above. It's not the same as being there, but it'll have you thirsting for your next desert rat excursion.
- Grand Canyon Featured Trips & Hikes
- 3D Flyover: Grand Canyon's South Rim
- Tanner-Escalante Loop, Grand Canyon National Park
- Photo Slideshow: Hiking to Grand Canyon's Royal Arch
- America's 10 Most Dangerous Hikes - Bright Angel Trail
- Tragedy in the Grand Canyon
What are your favorite Grand Canyon experiences? Share them with us in the comments section below.